Minister Information

Leo Varadkar

Leo Eric Varadkar ( və-RAD-kər; born 18 January 1979) is an Irish politician who has served as Taoiseach since December 2022, and previously from 2017 to 2020. He served as Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment from June 2020 to December 2022. He has been Leader of Fine Gael since June 2017, and a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dublin West constituency since 2007. He previously served under Taoiseach Enda Kenny as Minister for Social Protection from 2016 to 2017, Minister for Health from 2014 to 2016 and Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport from 2011 to 2014. Varadkar was born in Dublin and studied medicine at Trinity College Dublin. He spent several years as a non-consultant hospital doctor, eventually qualifying as a general practitioner in 2010. In 2004, he joined Fine Gael and became a member of Fingal County Council and later served as Deputy Mayor of Fingal. He was elected to Dáil Éireann for the first time in 2007. During the campaign for the 2015 same-sex marriage referendum, Varadkar came out as gay, becoming the first serving Irish minister to do so.In May 2017, Taoiseach Enda Kenny announced that he would resign as Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader. Varadkar stood in the leadership election to replace him; although more party members voted for his opponent, Simon Coveney, he won by a significant margin among Fine Gael members of the Oireachtas, and was elected leader on 2 June. Twelve days later, he was appointed Taoiseach, and at 38 years of age became the youngest person to hold the office. He is Ireland’s first, and the world’s fifth, openly gay head of government and the first Taoiseach to be from an ethnic minority in Ireland.In 2020, Varadkar called a general election held in February. While polls in 2019 had suggested a favourable result for Fine Gael, they ultimately came third in terms of seats and votes, behind Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin, with 35 seats, a loss of 15 seats for the party from the previous general election, when it had come in first position. As part of an agreement to form a three-party coalition along with Fianna Fáil and the Green Party, Varadkar resigned as Taoiseach and was succeeded by Micheál Martin, the leader of Fianna Fáil. Varadkar was subsequently appointed Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment. Per the same agreement, Varadkar returned as Taoiseach in December 2022, with Martin being appointed Tánaiste.